Toxic A History of Nerve Agents, from Nazi Germany to Putin's Russia

Hardback (01 May 2020) | English

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Toxic is the first comprehensive history of nerve agents, tracing the spread of these terrible weapons from their Nazi origins to Russia's 2018 deployment of Novichok in Britain. The deadliest means of chemical warfare yet developed, the first military-grade nerve agents were synthesised in Nazi Germany, with a massive industrial enterprise built for their manufacture--yet, strangely, the Third Reich never used them. At the end of the Second World War, the victorious Allies were stunned to discover just how advanced and extensive the programme was. Exploiting the Nazis' knowledge, the Soviet Union and Western powers embarked on a new arms race: to develop their own nerve agents and munitions, amassing huge chemical arsenals. Gradually, nerve agents spread elsewhere, first deployed in the Iran-Iraq War and then by terrorists in Japan. Despite arms control efforts and disposal of national stockpiles, they have been used again, in the Syrian Civil War and by assassins in Malaysia and Salisbury. Yet--as the powers developing them have learnt--building, testing and disposing of nerve agents is itself an extremely difficult undertaking, with bitter consequences. Toxic recounts the grisly history of these weapons of mass destruction: a deadly suite of invisible, odourless killers.

About the Publisher

Hurst & Company

Hurst & Company

Hurst is an independently owned non-fiction publisher based in central London, across the road from the British Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury. Among our authors are Gerard Prunier, Christophe Jaffrelot, Faisal Devji, David Kilcullen, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, Stephen Ellis, Paul Lendvai, Sir David Omand and Ziauddin Sardar. We have also published several books on behalf of MSF in London and Paris. Christopher Hurst founded C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. in 1969, his primary aim being to publish scrupulously edited and produced books on subjects close to his heart rather than to build a commercial empire. Christopher’s interests were eclectic, and they featured in his list from the outset, ranging from African studies, the plight of dissidents in the Cold War, the history of Scandinavia, the Muslim periphery, the Far North and anthropology.

Book information

ISBN: 9781787383067
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Imprint: Hurst & Company
Pub date:
DEWEY: 623.459209
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 408
Weight: 750g
Height: 216mm
Width: 138mm